Met vonnissen | Curacao Chronicle
WILLEMSTAD – According to law firm Spigt Dutch Caribbean, the Court’s ruling on Curaçao’s sub-licensing system does not immediately mean that all issued sub-licenses are now invalid. It does, however, create legal uncertainty.
On October 11 of this year, the Joint Court of Justice ruled in the case that master license holder Cyberluck brought against various journalists. The master license holder wanted to prevent journalist Nardy Cramm from Knipselkrant Curaçao, among others, from publishing that the system with sub-licenses was illegal. The judge previously ruled in favor of the journalists, but in October the Court also indicated that the journalists were right.
The rulings explicitly stated that the sub-licensing model was not illegal. The judge did indicate that the journalists had access to information that could lead to a different judgment. Something that led to a lot of discussion, because the publications and the court’s ruling could have an impact on online casinos with such a sublicence.
Ruling does not immediately invalidate sub-licenses Curaçao
According to the law firm Spigt Dutch Caribbean, the Court’s ruling does not have to mean that all sub-licenses are immediately invalid. “For example, if a master licensee could demonstrate that (specific) sub-licensees can be supervised sufficiently, it is possible that the court will rule that the sub-licenses issued by it do not conflict with the purpose and purport of the law”.
Spigt Dutch Caribbean
However, the lawyers expect that the ruling will lead to uncertainty among the parties involved in the sub-licensing system. “In that respect, we are waiting for the new legislation that is coming up in Curaçao.” The National Ordinance on Games of Chance (LOK) will, minister Javier Silvania hopes, be introduced in the second quarter of 2023.
It is not yet entirely clear what the law will look like exactly. It is clear, however, that the licensing will shift from the six master licensees to the newly established Curaçao Gaming Authority. At the moment, the Gaming Control Board is still the regulator in Curaçao, but it is only concerned with the country-specific offer.
The current master licenses and the later issued sub-licenses were issued under the current law from 1993: the Country Ordinance Offshore Gambling Games. According to Spigt, the sub-licensing system is in a gray area:
“The law does not – in so many words – provide for the possibility of sublicenses, but it does not expressly prohibit it either.”
Rulings can have consequences
Among other things, it ensured that the statements of the journalists, against whom Cyberluck litigated, are not factually incorrect. For example, Nardy Cramm wrote that the sub-licensing system “has no legal basis”.
The judge’s ruling saying that the journalists are in possession of information that supports their statements is worrying for the gambling sector, according to Spigt:
“It is relevant for the gaming sector that the Court also takes into account in its judgment that the statements of the journalist are supported by the facts known to the Court.”
The Court considers that it has become sufficiently plausible that it is impossible for some master licensees to supervise the many sub-licensees. For example, until recently it was not clear which companies are in possession of such a sub-license. Four months ago, Curaçao eGaming was the first to launch a register containing the various sub-license holders.
Spigt does nuance that in this case the Court has looked at the case in a different way:
“The Court takes a slightly more nuanced view on the question of whether the issuance of sub-licenses is in itself already ‘illegal’ (for example in situations where, according to the Court, sufficient supervision could be exercised), but considers the statement that the issuance of sub-licenses would be illegal under all circumstances ‘fully defensible’.”
For the various online casinos with a sub-license, it remains to be seen until it is known exactly what the new Curaçao gambling law will say.
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2022 10 11 – VONNIS HOGER BEROEP CUR2022H00019 Cramm-Knipselkrant vs Cyberluck-Snel-Guttenberg-Pearl Trust… by Knipselkrant Curacao on Scribd
2022 10 11 – VONNIS HOGER BEROEP CUR2021H00108 Cramm-Knipselkrant vs Cyberluck-Snel-Guttenberg Ea by Knipselkrant Curacao on Scribd